It’s been a great week here at Field Service USA 2018, live blogging and recapping some of the week’s best performance workshops, interactive working groups, and content sessions throughout the event.

Yesterday, we heard from an expert panel on “Transforming Your Service Business Model From Selling A Product To Selling An Outcome,” as well as Michael Mendoza, Field Service Practice Lead at Hitachi Solutions America, and Ben Vollmer, Global Field Service Lead at Microsoft on lessons learned from real-world customers, with strategies for the people, processes and technology needed for success.

The speakers today have been just as passionate and informative, inspiring us to find the best tools in field service support and customer experience to enhance our organizations. This afternoon, Zach McGuire, Group President of MasTec Advanced Technologies, joined Syncron CMO Gary Brooks on stage for a fireside chat to dive deeper into how to shape your future service and business strategies.

MasTec Advanced Technologies is one of the largest installation and fulfillment service companies in the country, serving millions of customers per year on behalf of the nations most recognizable brands like AT&T, LED, Comcast, and GE. McGuire’s experience within the telecommunications industry, along with his passion for leading high performing teams have been his key to success in the organization.

As the leader of such a large team of employees and field technicians, we wanted to know what three things that keep someone like McGuire awake at night. His top three concerns are talent acquisition, talent retention, and getting employees home safely every night.

Talent Acquisition

On the talent acquisition side of the business, McGuire and his team are facing some unique challenges in the field service technician pool. While Mastec has begun to outsource some of their recruiting as a way of widening their lens of recruits, security still plays a big role in the hiring process. Their biggest challenge? Getting safe, reliable and drug-free field technicians to pass background checks and necessary drug testing.

With almost a 40% fallout rate, these things are more important to field service hiring manager than any other industry’s. And when it comes to putting people in customers homes, security is non-negotiable on the hiring side of field service.

Talent Retention

On the talent retention side of the business, another challenge they’re facing is the aging workforce, along with the incoming millennial workforce. Retiring baby boomers are having a big impact on employee retention rates, but incoming millennials have somewhat unrealistic career progression expectations once they come into the organization.

We all know the wants of a millennial professional: even work-life balance, solid (and immediate) benefits and working for an organization that gives back to the community. Ironically enough, the demanding millennial generation is actually willing to take a lower pay for a more flexible, balanced work schedule that has a shorter lifespan, than a longer-term commitment to a job with a 401k and more rigid hours.

Speaking of rigid hours, that’s another gap in talent acquisition and retention in the field service technician role. Some of the gaps in hiring out of the technology-driven generation appear on the labor-intensive side of field service, where many newcomers would rather work with technology than get their hands dirty. Simply put, field service isn’t always the “sexiest” job, especially when you consider those crazy hours originally scoped to be a successful technician.

Employee Safety

That’s where optimized scheduling comes into play – to both solve the concerns of the incoming millennials with different work-life balance expectations, as well as get those same employees home safely every night. One thing this hands-on generation has been able to have a say in is their own set of safety rules abided by every field service technician at Mastec. The rules cover things like how to maintain safe driving, safety sharing among team members and field awareness as they travel around the country on the job.

Ultimately, this shift in generations within the workforce is creating some unique opportunities to change the way field service organizations operate, and teams like McGuire’s are forging ahead with new strategies, new standards and new expectations for what it looks like to be a successful field service team.

Stay with us as we continue to live-stream the content from Field Service USA, and make sure to follow us in the app and on social to get the full event experience!